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View Full Version : After Effects-Nuke Transition and VFX Workflow Questions


FantaBurky
03-28-2011, 06:46 PM
Been dying to transition to Nuke for some time now. Finally getting in to bigger and more complex visual effects, with one gig coming up that requires me to look at other options than After Effects, even though I absolutely love it. Got some questions some of you might be able to answer:

1) Working with 4k RED footage and doing vfx in Nuke, what kind of a workflow am I looking at? What filetypes will I be working with? I read .r3d files are really slow in Nuke, and therefor it's better to use OpenEXR 16bit float or Tiff 16bit sequences. Some suggest DPX but say it's less color space.

2) I'm also wondering if anyone really does VFX in 4k, or do they bring it down to 2k or something? I read somewhere that the latest Superman vfx work was done at 1920x1080p. Which would be perfect, but I'm guessing some studios will want full 4k, which would be difficult for me to handle with my computer.

3) I've bought quite a few plugins for After Effects over the years, some which I use often, and I'm wondering how much I'll loose out on in the transition. Like, what kind of plugins are available for Nuke other than the ones listed on their website? Can I go back and forth between Nuke and After Effects, to say add an effect but still keep the file format (EXR?) I work with in Nuke? Or should I somehow learn to live without those plugins, and start learning how to do it all inside Nuke.

4) Anyone working with Cinema 4D, what kind of a workflow is available? I read the OpenEXR channels are rendered to separate files and not contained within one single file, is this a big problem? Cause some people seem upset about it.

5) The float/linear and color spaces are a bit of a haze to me, I'd appreciate if someone could give me some insight to this in regards to vfx.

Any opinions/tips/guidance would be highly appreciated ;)

scrimski
03-28-2011, 07:18 PM
1) Working with 4k RED footage and doing vfx in Nuke, what kind of a workflow am I looking at? What filetypes will I be working with? I read .r3d files are really slow in Nuke, and therefor it's better to use OpenEXR 16bit float or Tiff 16bit sequences. Some suggest DPX but say it's less color space.Most likely dpx. I never seen anyone comping straight from r3d files in whatever program though, I guess it's because of the very time consuming debaying process which than has to happen on the fly.

2) I'm also wondering if anyone really does VFX in 4k, or do they bring it down to 2k or something? I read somewhere that the latest Superman vfx work was done at 1920x1080p. Which would be perfect, but I'm guessing some studios will want full 4k, which would be difficult for me to handle with my computer.

That depends on the project. As far as I know printing to film uses a 2K resolution, but I never got involved with the process so I might be wrong.
Most of the postwork I was involved was done in 2K, apart from keying greenscreen footage which was done in 4K and then scaled down to 2K.

FantaBurky
03-28-2011, 10:06 PM
Most likely dpx.

Really? Is it cause it's easier for storage? I mean, if EXR or Tiff are better quality-wise, why wouldn't it be the first choice?

That depends on the project. As far as I know printing to film uses a 2K resolution, but I never got involved with the process so I might be wrong.
Most of the postwork I was involved was done in 2K, apart from keying greenscreen footage which was done in 4K and then scaled down to 2K.

Alright. Thats pretty smart doing the keying in 4k. Will be sure to try that! And maybe even roto/tracking in 4k. I really hope they don't require 4k throughout the whole process though. I don't know about Nuke, but After Effects gets really slow after a couple of layers of effects on 4k. I have used proxys, but sometimes I manipulate the plates themselves, which makes proxys useless after a while.

Thanks for the insight.

scrimski
03-28-2011, 10:34 PM
Really? Is it cause it's easier for storage? I mean, if EXR or Tiff are better quality-wise, why wouldn't it be the first choice?It's the format I see most on my plate, I don't know actually why, so just I guess.
Dpx may store timecode information, which is crucial for some vendors in post production, but if and how that interferes with choosing dpx over exr is something I don't know. Apart from that RedRushes, RedCine and RedAlert only export to dpx or tiff, so no exr anyway from those converters.

ndeboar
03-28-2011, 11:25 PM
There are some amzing docs on linear color in nuke on the foundry website. Basicly, keep all your exrs linear, and then use the sRGB lut to view your images, nuke will take care of everything else.

FantaBurky
03-29-2011, 07:33 AM
It's the format I see most on my plate, I don't know actually why, so just I guess.
Dpx may store timecode information, which is crucial for some vendors in post production, but if and how that interferes with choosing dpx over exr is something I don't know. Apart from that RedRushes, RedCine and RedAlert only export to dpx or tiff, so no exr anyway from those converters.
That makes sense. But assuming I have a choice, and I decide to go with exrs, it wouldn't be impossible for them to work with the files after I've done my stuff on them, right? I mean, exrs have been used in the past (by ILM at least, who created it, if I'm not mistaken) so it must have some kind of a feasible workflow?

There are some amzing docs on linear color in nuke on the foundry website. Basicly, keep all your exrs linear, and then use the sRGB lut to view your images, nuke will take care of everything else.
Thanks! Hadn't looked at their training section yet, kinda stupid of me... :blush:

Does anyone have any suggestions/answers to questions 3-4? Maybe I should post nr 4 in the Cinema 4D section...

scrimski
03-29-2011, 01:12 PM
Of course you may use exr files, ther's nothing wrong with them. You best check what file format anybody else you deliver to needs.

FantaBurky
03-29-2011, 03:53 PM
Of course you may use exr files, ther's nothing wrong with them. You best check what file format anybody else you deliver to needs.

Will do :) Thanks again.

Still looking for some opinions on question 3 if anyone feels like answering it :P

ndeboar
03-29-2011, 11:53 PM
Loads of plugins for nuke, Sahpire takes care of all my "fx", particulars out for nuke now, anything you want imparticular? I wouldnt mix things with ae/nuke to much, just causes pain.

FantaBurky
03-30-2011, 07:51 AM
Plugins I use often in After Effects:

Digital Film Tools Power Matte and Power Stroke (although I guess I could find other ways to do achieve the same thing)
http://www.digitalfilmtools.com/powermatte/
http://www.digitalfilmtools.com/powerstroke-ae/

Video Copilot Optical Flares
http://www.videocopilot.net/products/opticalflares/

Trapcode 3D Stroke and Form
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/trapcode-3d-stroke/
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/trapcode-form/

Red Giant Warp (very useful with mochaPro and mochaImport script, but surely Nuke has something similar, right?...)
http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/rgwarp/

Hmm, wasn't that many plugins once you write them down he he. But can these effects be reproduced inside Nuke in some other way?

ndeboar
03-30-2011, 11:24 PM
Since i dont use any of these, its hard to give like for like. But if you want auto roto tools, check out furnace, it has ton of plugins for pulling mattes by supplying ruff rotos ect.

FantaBurky
03-31-2011, 04:21 PM
Since i dont use any of these, its hard to give like for like. But if you want auto roto tools, check out furnace, it has ton of plugins for pulling mattes by supplying ruff rotos ect.

Alright, thanks!

Sorry, I should have added a small description to them. About Optical Flares and 3D Stroke (which I'm curious the most about): Optical Flares basically does what it's called. Create and modify all types of flares (lens, sun, laser etc.). So, is there anything that deals with flares in Nuke? Something that looks real?

3D Stroke works by painting "splines" (or lines), and then you can give it a stroke/thickness vale and animate the growth and stuff. It's the effect seen in mobile and car commercials where there are animated light streaks that flow around in the air nicely. Maybe this can be achieved by buying Particular and setting the Birth to a high number so you won't actually see particles, but rather a continuous line. I dunno. But it would be nicer to have a feature that can create these light streaks. And it does not have to be 3D thickness, 2D is good enough.

If there's something like those two in Nuke, that would make my transition a lot easier. Will defiantly have to get Furnace too! Thanks for suggesting it :)

ndeboar
03-31-2011, 11:18 PM
So, is there anything that deals with flares in Nuke? Something that looks real?
I use Sapphire for all my lens flares.

As far as the stroke plugin, I would say you MIGHT be better off doing that in AE. I treat Nuke as postproduction software, not as content creation software, it's great at tweaking stuff you've created, not so good at making somethings from scratch. Like, I would never attempt a motion graphics job in it.

Nicko

FantaBurky
04-01-2011, 12:37 AM
Ok, that make sense :) I'll see if I can afford Furnace and Sapphire, and then try to work out a workflow eventually with maybe content creation in Cinema 4D + After Effects, and final compositing in Nuke.
Thanks again for all your help!!! I really appreciate it :beer: And thanks scrimski ;)

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